A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

Writers Are Weird

Mark Twain in Bed

Mark Twain – chillin’ or workin’?

Writers can be a pretty strange bunch. At least, that’s the myth. There are certain writers who are steeped in eccentricity that makes them . . . well, it makes them seem more interesting. You know the ones – the larger than life characters who are as well know as their books.

John Steinbeck always wrote in pencil and had twelve of them, perfectly sharpened, ready on his desk. Truman Capote called himself a ‘horizontal writer’. Apparently he could only write if he was lying down. Mark Twain did the same thing. Agatha Christie preferred to write in the bath while eating apples. Hemingway liked to write standing up, wearing an oversized pair of loafers, with the typewriter at chest height. J K Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a café because she was too poor to heat her home. Roald Dahl, on the other hand, wrote in a shed at the bottom of the garden – if it was cold, he put his feet into a sleeping bag. On his desk, he kept an old hipbone.

Hemingway Writing

Oversized loafers just out of sight . . .

As for me? Well, I don’t think I’m so unusual. I don’t think I have any odd writing habits . . . or do I?

So why don’t we play a little game? I’m going to write a list of my writing habits, and you have to decide which ones are real, and which are not.

  1. I always wear my ‘ideas’ hat while I’m writing.
  2. I always read my work aloud to myself.
  3. I always stop for the day when I know exactly what’s going to happen next.
  4. I always write in my ‘Writing Shed’. My ‘ideas hat’ helps to keep me warm in the winter as well as helping me to plot my books.
  5. I have a dog to keep my feet warm.


How about you? Any weird habits?



That’s all.


Dan Final 3 (medium)Dan Smith
Growing up, Dan Smith led three lives. In one he survived the day-to-day humdrum of boarding school, while in another he travelled the world, finding adventure in the padi-fields of South East Asia and the jungles of Brazil. But the third life he lived in a world of his own, making up stories . . . which is where some people say he still lives most of the time! Now settled in Newcastle with his wife and two children, Dan writes his stories to share with both adults and children.

About dansmithsbooks

Dan Smith, author of adult thrillers and adventure/survival stories for younger readers. See more of me at

3 comments on “Writers Are Weird

  1. kimapple
    February 26, 2014

    Reblogged this on Bitesize Writers.

  2. Carrie Ann Golden
    May 31, 2014

    Reblogged this on Artistic Crossroads and commented:
    Love this article! Anyone here have any weird habits as writers?

  3. Carrie Ann Golden
    May 31, 2014

    Hmm, I’ll pick number 5…was I even close??? 🙂 I guess one of my weird habits is standing in my bathroom (which has no windows) with the light off, and just acting out a particular scene between characters. Strange, huh? 😉

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on February 26, 2014 by and tagged , , .

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